For lovers of true crime stories, Marco Tullio Giordana’s ‘Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy’ is a fascinating account of the 1969 bombing of the Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura in Milan.
Based on a book by Paolo Cucchiarelli, Giordana tells the story that begs to be told about the terrorist attack in which a bomb exploded in Piazza Fontana (.1 mile from the Duomo) in Milan, Italy, killing 17 people and wounding 88. The same afternoon three more bombs were detonated in Rome and Milan and another was found undetonated. The police initially focused their investigation on an anarchist group and rounded up the usual suspects, including Giuseppe Pinelli (Pierfrancesco Favino), a well-known but non-violent protester.
While in police custody, Pinelli “jumped out the window” at police headquarters and the official story was that his guilt drove him to suicide, but since police chief Luigi Calabresi (Valerio Mastandrea) wasn’t in the room at the time, he wondered if public outcry over the incident wasn’t justified and began digging into it himself.
If Giordana was overly ambitious in his telling of this story I forgive him; this inordinately complicated plot is almost unbelievable and whoever was going to make this movie had their work cut out for them. With its long list of real-life characters and impossible rat’s nest of intrigue involving the police, the government, anarchists, and neo-fascists, he was able to take what could have seemed like a pedantic documentary and turned it into a thriller that you don’t have to be an intellectual or know anything about Italian history to be drawn into.
This movie is currently only available for European DVD players, but you can save it for a future date on Netflix.